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It’s that time of the year: a special kind of retrospection – year-in-review lists. And Google’s top-trending searches in the US reveal that 2017 wasn’t exactly the happiest year on record, as the list is dotted with disasters, both natural and human… Whereas a big Powerball payout was 2016’s top-trending search in the US, this year Hurricane Irma topped the list, also leading the way on a global basis.

[Note: Top trending searches do not refer to searches with the most volume, but rather those with the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in comparison to 2016.]

Following Hurricane Irma, the year’s other top trending searches in the US were:

  • Matt Lauer;
  • Tom Petty;
  • Super Bowl;
  • Las Vegas shooting;
  • Mayweather vs McGregor fight;
  • Solar eclipse;
  • Hurricane Harvey;
  • Aaron Hernandez; and
  • Fidget Spinner.

Just three of the top 10 search trends from the US also appeared on the list of top trending search terms globally, down from seven last year.

Interestingly, the iPhone figured prominently in the top-trending searches globally, with the iPhone 8 in the second spot and the iPhone X in the third position. Neither cracked the top 10 list in the US.

In terms of global news, Hurricane Irma was the top-trending search globally, followed by Bitcoin, the Las Vegas Shooting, North Korea, and the Solar Eclipse.

Below, a brief selection of top-5 trending search lists from around the world and in the US.

  • Consumer Tech – Global

1. iPhone 8
2. iPhone X
3. Nintendo Switch
4. Samsung Galaxy S8
5. Xbox One X

  • People – Global

1. Matt Lauer
2. Meghan Markle
3. Nadia Toffa
4. Harvey Weinstein
5. Kevin Spacey

  • People – US

1. Matt Lauer
2. Meghan Markle
3. Harvey Weinstein
4. Michael Flynn
5. Kevin Spacey

  • How to…? – US

1. How to make slime
2. How to make solar eclipse glasses
3. How to watch the solar eclipse
4. How to watch Mayweather vs McGregor
5. How to buy Bitcoin

  • What is…? – US

1. What is DACA?
2. What is Bitcoin?
3. What is a solar eclipse?
4. What is ANTIFA?
5. What is net neutrality?

  • TV Shows – US

1. 13 Reasons Why
2. Game of Thrones
3. This Is Us
4. Iron Fist
5. Riverdale

  • Movies – US

1. IT
2. Beauty and the Beast
3. Wonder Woman
4. Get Out
5. Justice League

Other Year-in-Review Lists

Of course, Google was only one of several companies to take a look at the past year. Below is a brief rundown of some of the highlights from other such lists, with a link to each.

  • International Women’s Day was the most talked-about moment on Facebook this year, followed by Super Bowl 51 and Las Vegas Violence. Meanwhile, the most viewed video and live broadcast was One Love Manchester, while Hurricane Harvey spurred the biggest fundraising effort of any single crisis. More details can be found here.
  • A teenager’s tweet seeking free Wendy’s “nuggs” ended up being the most retweeted of 2017, which says a lot about the state of the world today. On a somewhat saner level, President Obama’s tweet about racial equality following Charlottesville was the most-liked tweet of the year. Meanwhile, Game of Thrones was the most tweeted-about TV show, as well as being second on the list of Google’s top trending TV show searches in the US. Reporting on Twitter’s review can be found here.
  • Oyster Mask’s “Until we will become dust” was the top trending YouTube video of 2017, while Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee” was not only the top music video, but the most-viewed YouTube video of all time! Meanwhile, a Samsung India Service commercial emerged as the top trending ad on YouTube for the year. More here.
  • #love was the top hashtag on 2017 on Instagram, followed by #fashion and #photooftheday. New York topped the list of the most-Instagrammed cities, ahead of Moscow, while Disneyland in Anaheim was the most-Instagrammed location. Selena Gomez was the most-followed celebrity (130m+), and Cristiano Ronaldo added the most followers (30m+). The #photography hashtag had the biggest increase in popularity this year, per the report, which can be found here.
  • Wonder Woman was the top movie on Tumblr, while Showerthoughts was the leading meme, according to Tumblr’s Year in Review, which can be accessed here. Memes not enough? How about the most shared GIFs of 2017? Check out Tenor’s report here, which confirms that 2017 was a… difficult… year.
  • Drake was again the artist with the most songs (9; last year, 14) on Pandora’s 100 most thumbed up songs of 2016, topping Migos (6) and The Weeknd (5).
  • News/Talk was the top radio genre of the year overall, per Nielsen’s Tops of 2017: Audio. However, Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) led among the 6-11, 12-17, 18-34, and 25-54 age brackets, suggesting that it was the 55+ group that spurred News/Talk to the top.
  • Sticking with Nielsen, no surprises here: Football dominated the list of the year’s top 10 TV telecasts, with the Oscars and Grammy Awards the only non-NFL broadcasts to crack the top 10. Sunday Night Football edged The Big Bang Theory to be the top regularly scheduled TV program, while HBO’s Game of Thrones was the leading program in terms of per-episode social interactions. More here.

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